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Comment: shot in own foot (Score 4, Informative) 164

by belmolis (#48296627) Attached to: Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine
I think that Disney may have shot themselves in the foot. A patent must by definition describe the method in sufficient detail that a person of ordinary expertise in the field can figure out how to implement it by reading the patent. Since the patent merel describes a ranking algorithm, it can be trivially inverted to select sites likely to contain pirated material.

Comment: why sue the execs? (Score 1) 212

by belmolis (#47740051) Attached to: Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website
Can anyone explain why Oregon is suing six executives as well as the company itself? Normally in such commercial litigation it is only the company that is liable, not individual employees, and if Oregon thinks that the executives went beyond the pale, you'd expect criminal charges. Furthermore, the executives presumably don't have enough assets to contribute substantially to the damages sought. So why are the executives defendants?

Comment: can you copy back from these? (Score 1) 317

by belmolis (#47570273) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive
As I understand it, these devices allow you to copy from CDs onto their internal hard drive so that you can keep your own selection of music on the device. Is it possible to use these devices to burn a CD? AS far as I know, the answer is no. If they can't burn a CD, then they cannot be used for illicit copying.

Comment: Re:Or, you could... (Score 1) 405

Some publishers already CAN'T sell through Amazon. For example, I have a book that is published by the College of New Caledonia. My book is not available through Amazon because Amazon demands a huge discount (70%, as I recall) from all publishers, including non-profits like this one. In order to sell its books through Amazon, they would have to hugely increase the retail price so that the heavily discounted amount they would receive from Amazon would cover their costs.

+ - Nevada demands $10K for man to see his children's school records->

Submitted by belmolis
belmolis (702863) writes "The state of Nevada is demanding $10K for a man to see the school records of his four children. They claim that the state's database is not designed to produce reports on individual students. The fee is based on the claim that doing so will take 120 hours of programmer time. Is their system really so strangely designed or this an attempt to avoid providing the information? In any case, it would seem that the query would only have to be written once and could then be used for any other parent's request, so the cost should arguably be amortized over multiple requests."
Link to Original Source

Comment: no flight involved? (Score 2) 230

by belmolis (#46884767) Attached to: One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983
When I was a grad student at Bell Labs in 1983, a senior programmer told me about how she first programmed, when the labs were in New York City. She would write her program VERY carefully, punch the cards, put them in her briefcase, and fly to Washington, D.C. where she had access to a computer. She would give the deck to the attendant, wait a few minutes, receive her output, go back to the airport, and fly back to New York.

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